Technological projects portfolio

New-generation electric propulsion for small satellites

Investment: €513k

Scope: Transport

Scientific field(s): Physics-Chemistry and Optics

Institution(s): École polytechnique - CNRS

Development: Start-up in progress/completed

#NewSpace #Gridded #Thruster


The last five years have seen the growth of a new kind of satellite, a hundred to a thousand times smaller and lighter than conventional satellites.

These small satellites pave the way for a new approach to space, working together in large constellations of satellites.

However, creating a propulsion system adapted to this size of satellite is a major challenge.

The MINIATURE project offers an innovative solution to this need for a miniaturised motor.


Thanks to a disruptive technology emerging from research in the field of plasma, the MINIATURE project enables the design of a new family of cheaper, more robust ion thrusters.

The reduction in weight, volume and complexity results in a miniature electric thruster with the same performance as larger units.

The propulsion system can increase the satellite’s mission length, keeping it in the right orbit and managing deorbit at the end of the mission. It also enables several satellites to be deployed in a constellation, with longer lives and improved cost-effectiveness.


The MINIATURE project provides the perfect thruster for controlling the orbits of satellites in space.

It has many applications: small satellites and their use in large constellations are the future of big data, the global high-speed internet and global intelligence.